Note: The Skinny blog is written by Rick Smith, editor and co-founder of Local Tech Wire and business editor of

RALEIGH, N.C. – Four days into and FutureWeb, memories and sights to savor:

The creator and his disciples

“The main thing has been the spirit of the developers.” – Tim Berners-Lee on why the WWW has developed so rapidly in two decades to become the world’s communication medium.

The picture I wish I had taken reflects Berners-Lee’s comment made at a W3C press conference.

There was Berners-Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web, huddled with a group of developers – most very young – in a working breakout session about WWW language on Thursday afternoon. He truly was in his element, acting as teacher and learner with a flipchart nearby for notes, the circle of students clinging on every word.

Berners-Lee and other W3C executives led sessions on Wednesday and Thursday focused on the next big advances in the Web – HTML5 and Linked Open Data.

These programming advances hold the promise of making the Web much more useful, turning browsers and Web sites into treasure troves of useful data.

And Berners-Lee was right there with the next generation of Web leaders, showing them the possible while seeking their input how to make the Web even better.

For most of the people at WWW 2010, the week was a Web Woodstock with lots of food, fun and work that they love.

Music, too. Carolina Chocolate Drops put on a concert Thursday night.

3-D Gaming’s “big money”

For all the videogame developers wanting to cash in on gaming in the Triangle (which is the third largest hub for the industry in the U.S.), David Gardner at 3-D startup VenueGen had this to say Thursday:

“The big money is in in-world advertising.”

As one player enters with his avatar for a showdown, one sees a Coke bottle.

His opponent sees Dr. Pepper.

The Skinny’s not sure that degree of cashing in was at the forefront of the WWW’s developers, but let’s face it: Free enterprise helps pay the bills.

Gardner participated in a panel about the future of entrepreneurship.

Sir Tim: The Web is “a huge sandbox”

The breakout session reflects Berners-Lee’s attitude about the Net and the Web: Development never stops, the potential is unlimited.

“There is still a huge lot to do,” he said at one panel discussion.

He described the Web world as “a huge sandbox” and he invited everyone to join in to help develop the next big things.

So what would be Sir Tim’s perfect personal world?

Asked by one participant what would be the perfect environment for him, the knighted Sir Tim responded without hesitation.

“I would have the biggest screen I could possibly buy [plus a powerful computer] with the biggest, fastest Internet connection.”

“Life is too short and there is too much to do,” he added. The big screen, big PC and fat Internet pipe would help him take advantage of the moments, minutes, hours, years and (hopefully) decades he has left.

Oh, one more thing:

“I want software that allows me to be a couch potato,” he said. That software “would allow me to interact with more than one person in a room.”

And the piece de resistance?

“A virtual choir.”

Rising star: Elon’s Imagining the Internet

If you haven’t heard about Elon University’s you will.

You will hear, read and see a LOT if you are interested in the Net at all.

The university’s program, led by dynamo Janna Quitney Anderson, is truly a treasure and not just for North Carolina.

Their FutureWeb programs this week as well as interviews led by Lee Rainie, director of the , were superb.

On Friday, Anderson and company will play host to students from seven high schools in a full day of seminars and programs to help them better understand the opportunities for life and career that are available through the Internet and Web.

Best on-site marketing – Lulu

Picking a winner as “best marketing team” at the conference is a slam dunk.


The team from Bob Young’s Web self-publishing venture, a major sponsor of the conference, was everywhere. So were their marketing materials, especially spiffy bookmarks.

Only one place remained free of Lulu promos – the commodes.

Young, by the way, is delivering one of Friday’s keynotes. His topic: “The Future of Print Publishing.”

As in out of print – or print on demand?

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